BRCA1 Associates with Processive RNA Polymerase II

Susan A. Krum, Gustavo A. Miranda, Chenwei Lin, Timothy F Lane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The human BRCA1 tumor suppressor interacts with transcriptional machinery, including RNA polymerase II (RNA pol II). We demonstrated that interaction with RNA pol II is a conserved feature of BRCA1 proteins from several species. We found that full-length BRCA1 proteins universally fail to activate transcription in classic GAL4-UAS one-hybrid assays and that the activity associated with the human BRCA1 C terminus was poorly conserved in closely related homologs of the gene. Fractionation studies demonstrated that BRCA1 proteins from all species tested interacted specifically with hyperphosphorylated pol II (IIO), in preference to hypophosphorylated RNA pol II (IIA) expected at promoters. BRCA1-RNA pol II complexes showed evidence of a multiply phosphorylated heptad repeat domain in the catalytic subunit (p220) of RNA pol II, and the complex was highly functional in transcriptional run-off assays. Interestingly, endogenous BRCA1 associated with a large fraction of the processive RNA pol II activity present in undamaged cells, and the interaction was disrupted by DNA-damaging agents. Preferential interaction with processive RNA pol II in undamaged cells places BRCA1 in position to link late events in transcription with repair processes in eukaryotic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52012-52020
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 26 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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